Brentwood Academy alum Darius Garland gets encouragement from LeBron James – Brentwood Home Page

Brentwood Academy alum Darius Garland gets encouragement from LeBron James - Brentwood Home Page
2019 NBA Draft Rumors: Executives Believe Lakers Interested In Darius Garland, DeAndre Hunter With No. 4 Pick
CLEVELAND, Ohio — There is growing speculation that the Los Angeles Lakers, who pick at No.4 and one spot ahead of the Cavaliers, will use that selection on Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland or Virginia forward DeAndre Hunter.

Garland can give them the shooting they desperately need around LeBron James. He is a prospect who only played five games this season because of injury at Vanderbilt, but has drawn comparisons to Porlands Damian Lillard.

Los Angeles high on Darius Garland, DeAndre Hunter

Hunter brings versatility on the defensive end, an ability to defend most positions on the court, and led the Cavaliers to the national championship.

Garland left the combine earlier this month early, which drew speculation that he received a promise from a team in the lottery.

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders is the latest to confirm the Garland-Hunter speculation. ESPN draft analyst Fran Fraschilla discussed Garland to Los Angeles on Monday during an appearance on SiriusXM Radio. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Times reported that two teams picking higher than the Bulls made promises to Garland and fellow point guard Coby White.

The Sporting News Sean Deveney wrote that the New York Knicks will consider Jarrett Culver at No. 3. Deveney added that some scouts and league executives believed Culver could have landed at No. 2, had the Cavs or Atlanta Hawks won that selection.

The idea of the Knicks considering him — coupled with the Lakers mentioned possibilities — could stir up the draft.

However, Knicks legend Bernard King told The New York Post he wants Barrett in the Big Apple and paired with Kevin Knox.

Hes a tremendous talent with an all-around game, King told The Post. He could put the ball on the floor and has a high basketball IQ. He runs the floor very well and hes a good scorer. Today basketball is positionless. You can have two guys on the floor like Barrett and Kevin.

A week after Magic Johnson appeared on ESPNs “First Take,” describing general manager Rob Pelinka as a backstabber, a report has surfaced from ESPN that paints just about everyone involved in an unflattering manner.

Baxter Holmes report describes accounts from current and former team employees that Johnson and Pelinka berated staffers and inspired fear. They also made free-agent acquisitions without consent of the other and were responsible for tampering investigations.

“We all had the same reaction that the basketball world did, like what the f— are we doing?” a Lakers coach member told ESPN. “Not only are we not getting shooting, but were also getting every basket case left on the market.”

LeBron James agent, Rich Paul, also reportedly tried to get coach Luke Walton fired and influence trades. Paul also rode on the team plane. The agent was called “destructive” and a “culture killer” by sources in the report.

“Coaches know Rich is trying to get them fired, and players know Rich is trying to get them traded,” one agent told ESPN.

The Lakers could create up to $38.1 million in cap space this offseason, the seventh most in the NBA according to Spotrac.com.

Ja Morant announced Monday on his Instagram account that he signed a multiyear endorsement deal with Nike.

Morant is expected to be picked No. 2 overall in the draft to Memphis, behind New Orleans and Zion Williamson, who has yet to sign a shoe deal.

The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t actually win the draft lottery. But the purple and gold certainly felt like winners on May 14th regardless, entering lottery night with just a 9.4 percent chance of earning a top-five pick, and leaving with the No. 4 overall selection. The Lakers thought they’d be choosing in the late lottery, and now find themselves getting their pick of the litter from the “rest” of the 2019 class after the consensus top-three prospects – Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, and R.J. Barrett – come off the board.

Who’s Los Angeles most interested in? According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, Rob Pelinka and company like University of Virginia forward De’Andre Hunter and Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland.

Hunter averaged 15.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game in 2018-19, shooting 52.0 percent from the field and 43.8 percent from beyond the arc. Not projected as anything close to a primary offensive option at the next level, Hunter boasts rare physical tools that, combined with innate instincts and a dogged disposition, made him one of the most impactful defenders in college basketball. He’ll be drafted for his defensive versatility and potential as a finisher – both around the rim and at the three-point line – more than any possibility he’ll develop in to a superstar.

Garland, meanwhile, is universally considered the second-best point guard prospect in this class behind Murray States Ja Morant, and a potential top-five pick. He played just five games for the Commodores last season due to a meniscus injury suffered in late November, averaging 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists on elite shooting marks of 53.7 percent overall and 47.8 percent from beyond the arc, in the process vaulting ahead of other floor generals in his class.


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